MN FutureWork Series Sixteen

U is for Ultrasound Technician
By Chloe Campbell
Minnesota Employment Review
January 2017

Paving the Way from a College Degree to a Good Job
By Valerie J. Calderon and Jeffrey M. Jones
The Gallup Blog
January 26, 201

Going Global? You Need Translators Who Know More Than Just Languages
By Ivan Widjaya
February 2, 2016

Shortage forces Twin Cities schools to find creative ways to hire teachers and keep them
By Anthony Lonetree and Beatrice Dupuy
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 4, 2017

Career Advisory Board Reveals Growing Lack of Tech Preparedness for the American Workforce
By Anne Unger
DeVry University
March 6, 2017

Over and out? Pilot shortage threatens small airports
By Janet Moore
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 11, 2017

Will Cheap Robots Prevent a Comeback in Jobs?
By Jennifer Alsever
March 14, 2017

MN FutureWork Series Fifteen

Tending to the Farm, Part 3: Technology Reshapes Agriculture
Atlanta Federal Reserve
January 12, 2017

The state of the IT contractor job market in 2017
By Bruce Harpham
CIO Magazine
January 18, 2017

Upwork reveals fastest-growing skills for Q4; natural language processing, other tech skills top the list
January 26, 2017

Who’s Going to Save American Jobs?
February 2, 2017

Safety in numbers
By Dennis Pierce
Community College Journal
February 6, 2017

An Economic Outlook
Presented by Patrick T. Harker, President and Chief Executive Officer
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
February 21, 2017

Minnesota High Tech Association launches new ground-breaking talent system that connects employers and candidates using cutting-edge recruiting technology
Minnesota High Tech Association
February 23, 2017

MN FutureWork Series Fourteen

We Need a New Deal Between Higher Education and Democratic Capitalism
By Anthony Carnevale
Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce
January 23, 2017

The best of the best U.S. jobs are tech, tech and tech, again
By Marco della Cava
January 24, 2017

Teen labor force participation before and after the Great Recession and beyond
BLS: Monthly Labor Review
February 2017

Career, technical teachers in short supply at Minnesota schools
By Solvejg Wastvedt
Minnesota Public Radio
February 7, 2017

The Building Code Profession Is Dying Out, and That’s a Problem
By Jake Blumgart
Atlantic City Lab
February 8, 2017

Recent college grads now more likely to have good jobs, opportunity
By Gail MarksJarvis
Chicago Tribune
February 26, 2017

Why Millions of Americans Never Finish College
By Michael Lawrence Collins and Joel Vargas
February 27, 2017
Atlantic City Lab

MN FutureWork Series Thirteen

Why China’s cities will drive global growth
By Chang Ka Mun and Jaana Remes
September 7, 2016
Project Syndicate

Growing Demand for Caregivers
By Chloe Campbell
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
December 2016

A snapshot of Minnesota’s teacher shortage: Where are all of the career and technical educators?
By Erin Hinrichs
Minn Post
February 9, 2017

Why Apprenticeships Are Taking Off
By Lisa Rabasca Roepe
Atlantic City Lab
February 1, 2017

The Best Websites — And Strategies — For Finding An Internship In 2017
By Karsten Strauss
February 2, 2017

How to Outsmart the Robots and Hold On to Your Job
By Hannah Morgan
US News and World Report
February 22, 2017

Demand for Bilingual Workers More than Doubled in 5 years, New Report Shows Newswire
March 1, 2017

MN FutureWork Series Twelve

8 ways cities can prepare for the future of work
By Brooks Rainwater
December 2, 2016,

‘Women’s work’ jobs keep millions of women in poverty, report finds
By Stacey McFadin
Food Tank
December 27, 2016

Homeschool Boom: 5 Homeschooling Trends to Watch in 2017
By Daniel Cruz
Grand Canyon University
December 29, 2016

U.S. intelligence agencies envision the world in 2035
By Patrick Thibodeau
January 10, 2017

On the job, and up the ladder
By Ann Harrington
Minneapolis Federal Reserve
January 19, 2017

Will Your Next Job Be Piloting Drones?
By Tiffany Kelly
Atlantic City Lab
January 27, 2017

Manufacturing job losses, yes, but gains for trained Minnesota workers
By Lee Schafer
Minneapolis Star Tribune
February 18, 2017

Erick Lehet: A Math Teacher Teaches 21st Century Skills

Let us introduce to you, Erick Lehet. We heard so many good things about what he’s doing and the impact he’s had on career and technical education (CTE) students, that we spent time with him to find out what where he gets his energy and what he sees in CTE that others can learn from.

Picture of Erick Lehet with a great, big smile!
Erick Lehet, instructional coach/technical skill assessment coordinator at the Northeast Metro 916 Career and Technical Center and recipient of the 2016 C. Thomas Olivo Outstanding Service Award.

Who are you and what do you do?

Erick Lehet: I’m Erick Lehet. I work at the Northeast Metro 916 Career & Technical Center with many job titles such as Technical Skills Assessment & Concurrent Enrollment Coordinator, Instructional Coach, Lead Teacher, and Professional Development Chair.

Life is busy around the Lehet household as my partner and I work split shifts. I love being involved with my son’s elementary wrestling team two nights a week, coaching my daughter’s traveling hockey team three-plus nights a week, and celebrating the midpoint of earning my doctorate.  I love winter and participating in our weekly Mendota pond hockey league, where I am also a former city councilman. I’m super excited for our family trip to Yellowstone National Park this summer—we rented a motorhome!

Lehet: Before I came over to the world of career and technical education (CTE), I was a high school math teacher. The most common question I always got was, “When am I ever going to use this?”  In the world of CTE, I never hear that question.

As a high school math teacher, I always thought it was someone else’s job to help students plan for college and think about career choices. In CTE, our industry-trained instructors are balancing the responsibility of high quality pedagogy, students earning certifications/credentials, as well as having students explore the multitude of career and college options related to the training they are receiving. I just thought it someone else’s job to teach students 21st Century Skills—I had math standards to focus on. But in the world of CTE, 21st Century Skills are taught alongside state and national standards in the classroom. When we do this, students can see how the knowledge they’re acquiring applies to the real world around them. This is probably why I’m never asked by CTE students, when and where, they will use math. This combination ensures students are well-rounded and better equipped to confidently pursue higher education and embark on a career path that is sure to lead to success.

Can you think of one technical skill that every person should know how to do?

Lehet: Learn to read a ruler! It’s important.

Erick was awarded the 2016 C. Thomas Olivo Outstanding Service Award by NOCTI, the  nation’s largest provider of industry partner certifications and industry-based credentials for  career and  technical education programs. This is a national honor recognizing his dedication and commitment to CTE.

MN FutureWork Series Eleven

Minnesota FutureWork is a collection of articles highlighting current trends and news that impacts industry, the economy, and careers. These articles originate from various media journals throughout the country.

Is There a Gender Wage Growth Gap?
By Ellyn Terry
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
November 14, 2016

Turning qualifications into jobs
The Economist
January 12, 2017

How tech is changing teaching, learning
By Aaron Frey
January 19, 2016
Community College Times

What does the future of jobs look like? This is what experts think
By Alex Gray
January 27, 2017

Wanted: Factory Workers, Degree Required
By Jeffrey J. Selingo
New York Times
January 30, 2017

6 Critical Skills for Tomorrow’s Workplace
By Ira Wolfe, President
Success Performance Solutions
January 31, 2017

The Most Exciting Medical Technologies of 2017
By Bertalan Mesko´
The Medical Futurist

MN FutureWork Series Ten

Minnesota FutureWork is a collection of articles highlighting current trends and news that impacts industry, the economy, and careers. These articles originate from various media journals throughout the country.

Educational Needs of the Workforce
By Steve Hine and Matt Bombyk
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
December 2016

The answer to America’s working class job crisis is hard, but not mysterious
By Simon Montlake
Christian Science Monitor
December 14. 2016

New Gig Economy Will Force Employers to Strengthen Screening of Growing On Demand Workforce
By Thomas Ahearn
ESR News
December 21, 2016

As more Americans retire, we must educate a new generation of leaders by making higher education affordable
By Anthony Benoit
Hechinger Report
December 27, 2016

STEM occupations: past, present, and future
By Stella Fayer, Alan Lacey, and Audrey Watson
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
January 2017

Pay gap between college grads and everyone else at a record
By Christopher S. Rugaber
The Associated Press
January 12, 2017

Hot Jobs for 2017 – By Industry
By Karsten Strauss ,
January 25, 2017

Danny Sertich is a Young Entrepreneur With Big Dreams

Millennials are taking charge of their future very early on and they’re being exposed to this through unique student organizations helping students connect their academic learning with real-world experiences. We spent time with one young entrepreneur to learn about his business venture and how he got started.

Tell us who you are and what you do.

I am Danny Sertich, Minnesota DECA’s Vice-President of Communications and entrepreneur. As a state officer for Minnesota DECA, I represent 4,700 members. I also have the task of running our State Career Development Conference with the other officers and staff.

Outside of work and school I run cross-country and track, play hockey and golf, and canoe/camp with my friends. This coming summer [2017] I will be going on a 45-day expedition into the Arctic Circle with seven other crewmembers. This expedition will follow the Coppermine River in Canada to the Arctic Ocean. This is a 2nd year trip for the Les Voyageurs, Inc. program after I spent 30-days in the Canadian wilderness with a similar crew and over 350 miles of portaging and paddling.

I have one younger brother, Shjon, and we enjoy many of the same activities. With his blonde surfer-boy hair, he always finds a way to make me smile. I wouldn’t want a different person to be around at home!

We heard you’re a young entrepreneur. Tell us what your business is and how you got started.

Yes! I own Versolin a business consulting firm. I started this after I competed with a business plan for DECA in 2015-16. A category of DECA’s competitive events involved a market research project with local businesses. Students work with a real business to formulate a plan to solve a problem (determined by a topic area put out by DECA, Inc. each year). DECA picks these topics based on trending problems in the business world, so often times these problems apply to the business they’re working with, and the business actually finds a way to implement the plan.

With a combination of my experiences in DECA (the business plan and a market research project) I realized I could actually make money from the consulting that DECA students are already doing. I explored the idea while I worked for the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation, and with the feedback from local businesses there was a common theme. Many business executives and owners had a disconnect with the upcoming Millennial Generation—they just didn’t understand us. Using this gap as my niche, I started Versolin in August and I am now using it to compete in DECA’s Business Growth Plan.

In the recent past, Versolin did more targeted marketing for other businesses than any other service we provided. Now, with the Business Growth Plan, I am evaluating the possibility to engage in the venture capital market (currently untapped in St. Cloud, MN).

What’s the most important advice you ever received?

“Find something you’re passionate about and stick with it,” or “use your talents to make money.”

These two pieces of advice are the reason I am here today. If I didn’t have the courage to start my business or run for office, I’d just be the average high school student.

What advice would you give other students?

If there’s one piece of advice that I’d like to give to other students, it’s to not listen to what other people say. Actually, listen to advice and ignore those who tell you that you can’t succeed.

Minnesota DECA is a career and technical education student (CTSO) organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. Learn more about Minnesota DECA to learn about their mission and how you can get involved.

An interview with Mike Lehn: A Champion for Strengthening Automotive Business Partnerships with Schools

Business/industry and education partnerships—when done right—can reap tremendous benefits for the students, for the business, and for the entire community. We sat down with Mike Lehn, a champion for strengthening automotive business partnerships, to find out why investing in these partnerships is a win-win situation for everyone.

Tell us about your business/industry and what you do.?

Mike Lehn: As the Minnesota Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Industry Education Alliance1 Manager, I work with Minnesota high school programs that have partnered with Automotive Youth Educational Systems programs. I assist those programs and their students with the transition from education to career. ASE students proceed through qualification steps that include a strong academic emphasis, personal development, job shadowing and industry based certification assessments and other criteria.

Pictrure of Mike Lehn.
Mike Lehn, Minnesota Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Industry Education Alliance Manager

In your view, what role does CTE play in Minnesota’s workforce readiness?

Lehn: Career and Technical Education is the location where students in high school learn critical life skills which help them focus their passion towards a particular career. Students need to engage in high quality career education as early as middle school and that career education has to be continued throughout their high school experiences with the highest of quality of rigor and relevance.  This career instruction needs to be continuously reviewed by business and industry leaders to ensure that this education is up to date and that it aligns to today and tomorrow’s needs to support Minnesota’s economy.

Can you think of one technical skill that every person should know how to do?

Lehn: I have been working in the automotive industry for the past 40 years and am aware of a multitude of technical skills that technicians are required to know.  But the most critical in my mind is the ability to seek out valid and reliable information to correctly diagnose and repair vehicle problems.

Have you always been fascinated by vehicles? Do you like to drive them or fix them? Learn about careers in the transportation industry at CAREERwise Education, a Minnesota State Career and Education Source.

1 The ASE Industry Education Alliance is a group of organizations under the ASE umbrella providing a career resource from entry-level to retirement for automotive industry personnel and serves as a model for other industries. The ASE Industry Education Alliance consists of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF), Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES), and the Automotive Training Managers Council (ATMC). For more information, visit the NATEF website at